"Dancing In The Dark" as written by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz....
I get up in the evening
and I ain't got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain't nothing but tired
Man I'm just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

You can't start a fire
You can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire
even if we're just dancing in the dark

Message keeps getting clearer
radio's on and I'm moving 'round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I want to change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man I ain't getting nowhere
I'm just living in a dump like this
There's something happening somewhere
baby I just know that there is

You can't start a fire
you can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire
even if we're just dancing in the dark

You sit around getting older
there's a joke here somewhere and it's on me
I'll shake this world off my shoulders
come on baby this laugh's on me

Stay on the streets of this town
and they'll be carving you up alright
They say you gotta stay hungry
hey baby I'm just about starving tonight
I'm dying for some action
I'm sick of sitting 'round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
come on now baby gimme just one look

You can't start a fire sitting 'round crying over a broken heart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Hey baby


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"Dancing In the Dark" as written by Howard Dietz, Arthur Schwartz

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Dancing In The Dark song meanings
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  • +3
    General Commentit sounds to me he needs a help to sparkle up his live a little. he knows there must be more but with his own sparke he cant start it. he needs a connection with someone else to feel alive. and he is tired of the way he was living. extualy the lyrics go further at the end: " you can't start a fire sitting 'round crying over a broken heart...... and later: " worrying about your little world falling apart...... this means to me that he has withdrawn himself from living but now is ready to get back in the game. His live was boring , also his looks and he sick and tired of it! how long must someone stay hungry? he finally gets it that your live is over before you know it. This is what i get from the lyrics and why i like them so much it gives me a boost. ( sorry for language errors i'm dutch)
    julietteon March 18, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentits kind of Ironic that this song became a hit as it was written about not being able to write a hit song
    McShineon April 20, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love the irony of this song, a hit single about someone with no inspiration to write a hit single.

    I couldn't figure out what the chorus meant for a while but this is my interpretation:

    -You can't start a fire without a spark (you can't write a great song without inspiration)
    -This gun's for hire (He's forced by his label to write one anyway, I like to think Bruce is the "gun" who fires shots unwillingly by the "gunman": his record company)
    -even if we're just dancing in the dark (even if people are just dancing to a song with no passion, no "fire")

    What do you think?
    SquidPiloton July 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentjuliette has pretty much got it.

    He's stuck in a rut. Going to work in the evening after sleeping all day...still tired and doesn't want to talk. He comes home in the morning and feels the same way. Tired all the time.

    He tells the girl he's talking to that he needs a spark in his life. He's tired of his job, his house, his appearance and wants to change everything in his life. He realizes that life is passing him by and feels the world is on his shoulders.

    So, he tells the girl "come on, let's have some fun". He wants to do something besides sitting around his house..."even if it's just dancing in the dark".

    Great song that I can really relate to.
    Zepfreakon July 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentZepfreak is right.

    The first part of the songs showes that he's frustarted with his life and stuck in a routine.
    In the refrain he tells the girl he's obviously talking to to 'be the spark which starts his fire (passion)". She should give him a reason to break out of his life.

    I especially love the ending, when he sings:

    "Stay on the streets of this town and they'll be carving you up alright"
    The daily routine is killing him (they=society)

    "They say you got to stay hungry hey baby I'm just about starving tonight"
    The other people (friends, his parents, his co-workers) tell him that you can never reach you dreams ("stay hungry") but he thinks that he had made to many compromises and now want to live his dreams ("...I'm just about starving..."). This hunger, he expresses, may also be the hunger for love!

    Great song. I can find myself in the position the singer is....and thats what a great song needs!
    DaredevilMikeon August 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about the writer Charles Bukowski. He's "sick of sitting around here trying to write to this book," he lives in a dump of an apartment in a dangerous neighbourhood, and he goes out drinking at night and gets up in the evening after sleeping off his hangover all day. The "spark" he refers to is the inspiration necessary to break his writer's block.
    Sparkyboyon March 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is one of the most relatable on a personal level i've ever heard. the line "you can't start a fire...worrying about your little world falling apart" sends shivers down my spine every time
    patobrienon August 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCant remember exactly where I heard Bruce explain it , he stated th BITUSA album was finished and the label didnt see any of teh songs on it as being a single. SO they asked Bruce to go home and write a single for it. He told them thay he coudn't and wouldn't just write a song, he wasn't a "gun for hire" Now take that and read all the lryics again
    the matson October 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIts about sex.
    zujehyon October 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe correct lyrics are:

    "I get up in the evening
    and I ain't got nothing to say
    I come home in the morning
    I go to bed feeling the same way
    I ain't nothing but tired
    Man I'm just tired and bored with myself
    Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

    You can't start a fire
    You can't start a fire without a spark
    This gun's for hire
    even if we're just dancing in the dark

    Message keeps getting clearer
    radio's on and I'm moving 'round the place
    I check my look in the mirror
    I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face
    Man I ain't getting nowhere
    I'm just living in a dump like this
    There's something happening somewhere
    baby I just know that there is

    You can't start a fire
    you can't start a fire without a spark
    This gun's for hire
    even if we're just dancing in the dark

    You sit around getting older
    there's a joke here somewhere and it's on me
    I'll shake this world off my shoulders
    come on baby this laugh's on me

    Stay on the streets of this town
    and they'll be carving you up alright
    They say you gotta stay hungry
    hey baby I'm just about starving tonight
    I'm dying for some action
    I'm sick of sitting 'round here trying to write this book
    I need a love reaction
    come on now baby gimme just one look

    You can't start a fire sitting 'round crying over a broken heart
    This gun's for hire
    Even if we're just dancing in the dark
    You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart
    This gun's for hire
    Even if we're just dancing in the dark
    Even if we're just dancing in the dark
    Even if we're just dancing in the dark
    Even if we're just dancing in the dark
    Hey baby"

    You can't just say that a song is about sex. To me, it's about being bored with your life. Doing the same things over and over again and not having anything exciting happening. It's about wanting to change and just being better than you are at some point.

    You have a choice to change your life for the better. Make it more exciting or make it into whatever you want. No one can turn your life around but you. I think everyone can relate to this song at some point in their life. It's an amazing song. Just like everything Bruce sings.
    dropdeadxxsamon February 01, 2009   Link

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